May 17 • 48M

Scott Kupor, Managing Partner of a16z on Building a lasting Venture Franchise

Episode 108

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Samir Kaji
Venture Unlocked is the playbook for starting, operating, & scaling a successful venture capital firm. Samir Kaji, Host of Venture Unlocked has +20-years of experience assisting & advising startups and venture firms. Listen for VC fund guidance.
Episode details

Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape.

This week we’re joined by Scott Kupor, Managing Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. Scott was the first employee of the firm alongside Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz. He has been instrumental in the firm’s growth to now having north of $35B in AUM. Scott also authored a Wall Street Journal bestselling book called Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It, and previously also served as chairman of the board of the NVCA. 

Scott goes through the history of a16z and the learnings along the way in building the multi-product investment company it is today.

Frank, Rimerman + Co.’s history is closely intertwined with that of Silicon Valley. With humble beginnings similar to so many start-ups, Frank, Rimerman was formed with a desire to serve the entrepreneurial and venture communities of the Valley and the determination to think outside-the-box.

When it comes to venture funds, we work with almost 500 VC groups from over 20 states across the USA. We have worked with over 400 fund groups during their first year of operations, making us one of the leading providers in the country to emerging managers.

No one wants to be bored at work. That’s why we chose to work with some of the most innovative and creative people – people who are changing the world around us every day. Their excitement fuels our passion and determination to grow and serve this special community.

Frank, Rimerman + Co, Passion Works Here.

About Scott Kupor:
Scott Kupor is Managing Partner at Andreessen Horowitz, focused on growth-stage companies building in the bio and healthcare industries, manages the firm's investor relations team, and is responsible for the firm's growth initiatives. 

Scott was the first employee at Andreessen Horowitz and managed the firm's growth from $300 million in AUM to more than $30 billion. Prior to joining the firm, Scott worked Hewlett Packard, Opsware, and represented startups through M&A processes.

Scott is the author of the Wall Street Journal bestselling book, Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It, and serves on the boards of Cedar, Headway, Foursquare, Labster, Ultima, and SnapLogic. He also served as chairman of the board for the National Venture Capital Association.

Scott earned a bachelor’s degree and a JD from Stanford University.

In this episode, we discuss:
(02:24) Scott’s journey to a16z
(04:52) Lessons from the dotcom bubble
(08:29) Why the original thesis for a16z was so different
(12:33) How Mike Ovitz and CAA inspired them
(16:44) Early days building the firm and recruiting the team
(20:26) Running the firm like a startup
(25:58) Challenges of building and maintaining a culture
(30:01) Building cohesion with a global workforce and work from home
(33:18) What “founder-friendly” means at a16z
(36:34) Advice for new managers
(40:49) Where we are in the current market cycle
(44:59) The advice Scott would give e himself as a new graduate.

I’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Scott. Follow me @SamirKaji and give me your insights and questions with the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop me a direct message on Twitter.

Podcast Production support provided by Agent Bee